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ACT: Mississippi ranks last in college readiness

According to the ACT’s “Condition of College and Career Readiness” report released Aug. 17, the Mississippi graduating class of 2011 had the lowest percentages in the nation of students meeting the ACT benchmarks on subject area tests.

Only 10 percent of Mississippi’s class of 2011 students met all four college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math and science, in contrast to the national average of 25 percent.

Benchmarks are scores on the ACT subject area tests that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses.

ACT benchmark scores for success are:

>> College English Composition: 18

>> College Algebra: 22

>> College Social Science: 21

>> College Biology: 24

>> Composite: 21.1

Mississippi’s average scores are:

>> English: 18.6

>> Mathematics: 18.2

>> Reading: 18.8

>> Science: 18.7

>> Composite: 18.7

On the report’s release date, the Mississippi state College Board distributed a press release titled “ACT report finds more Mississippi students ready for college work” that said:

“More members of Mississippi’s class of 2011 stand a better chance of graduating from college and going on to successful careers, according to a report released today by ACT, Inc. in their report, The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2011. When compared to the 2010 numbers, the annual report shows that:

>> 397 more students are ready for English Composition

>> 256 more students are ready for College Algebra

>> 153 more students are ready for college social studies classes.”


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About Amy McCullough


  1. Amy, the truth needs to be published about some of the National ranking of Mississippi, when it comes to education. Data published at http://www.publicagenda.com; Mississippi’s State tax appropriations for higher education for FY 2011 dropped 7.4% at the same time we hear from the politicians how much they have appropriated for higher education. I am currently working on an article that I hope to get published concerning tax appropriations here in Mississippi. The State finished the fiscal year with an excess of funds of over 250 million dollars, could have been approprated to higher education?

  2. This report paints a grim picture for the performance of Mississippi schools. I suspect that the numbers for college readiness are more disappointing for students from the Mississippi Delta.

    The 7th Annual Delta Dialogue, sponsored by Mississippi Action for Community Education (MACE) in Greenville, MS, will discuss education reform in the Delta and attempt to learn ways to improve student academic performance in public schools in the region.

    The date for the event is Friday, September 16, 2011 from 8 am to 1 pm at the Greenville (MS) Higher Education Center.

    For more information, please call Chester Smith at 662-335-3523.

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